Confusing Certainty With Correctness

Proverbs 14:12 says: “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”  In the first words of this familiar verse is an important truth: Just because people think they are going in the right direction, doesn’t mean they are.  People today can be SO confident: “Oh I KNOW this is right” – and they won’t hear anything against what they are doing, or the direction they are taking.  In fact, sometimes it is easy for us to “back away” from challenging them, because they seem SO confident in what they are doing.  But do not mistake their confidence for correctness.  “There is a way which SEEMS right” to them – but that is the whole point: it SEEMS right to them – but it ISN’T!

And of course, we must also humbly understand that it is not just “other people” who can be that way – we ourselves can as well.  We ALL have our “blind spots” – those things which “seem right” to us – but they aren’t.  This is why we need someone or something “outside” of ourselves to speak to us:

– This is the place of God’s word, the Bible.  II Samuel 7:28 says: “You are God, and Your words are truth.”  Through the Holy Spirit, Who takes the words of scripture and speaks to us, God’s word gets “outside” of our limited viewpoint, and helps us see past what “seems right” to us, to the ways of truth.  Thus the scripture can help correct our misplaced self-confidence.  That is why it is so important that each of us spend time in God’s word every day.  It will show us where those ways which “seem right” to us, actually aren’t!

– Wise, godly friends can help do the same thing.  They can help us see our blind spots, see past what “seems right” to us.  Proverbs 27:6 says “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”  TRUE friends, Proverbs tells us, will say what really needs to be said, even if it is painful.  They will not just tell us what we want to hear, or reinforce what “seem right” to us.  They will point out where our ways are leading to disobedience & “death”, even when those ways “seem right” to us.  If you know a person like that, a godly friend, who will tell you the truth regardless of how painful it is for you, then you are blessed indeed.  Do not turn from them, but TO them, and let them help you see past the “blind spots” of the ways of your life which just “seem right” to you – but aren’t.

We all need God’s word and godly friends to help reveal those “blind spots” to us, because we all have them.  “There is a way which seems right to a man … .” It seems right — but it isn’t.  Do not confuse others’ confidence – or even your own – with correctness!

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About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief daily devotions from own personal Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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